History of Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name. The island is part of Mi'kma'ki, the lands of the Mi'kmaq people. Explored by Europeans in the 16th Century, the French claimed all of the lands of the Maritimes in 1604 and French colonists arrived in 1720. By conquest, the British claimed all of the lands including Prince Edward Island in 1763. It became the British colony of St. John Island in 1769 and joined the Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1873.


Prince Edward Island was first inhabited by the Mi'kmaq people, who have lived in the region for several thousand years.[1] They named the island Epekwitk (the pronunciation of which was changed to Abegweit by the Europeans), meaning "cradle on the waves."[2] The Mi'kmaq mythology is that the island was formed by the Great Spirit placing some dark red clay which was shaped as a crescent on the pink Waters. There are two Mi'kmaq First Nation reserves on Epekwitk today.